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Launch Party Update...

I've now settled on the 15 guitars to use on the 15 instrumentals I'll be performing live at the launch party in just two weeks time.

Getting nervous, and stressed out by the amount of stuff still to put in place before the actual event can take place.

Have managed to create and frame some drawings for the merch stall, but need to work on several more yet.

Also completed the backdrop videos and copied them to a portable hard drive ready to give to Paul for projection.

Also written out, (and printed out and placed in a physical folder,) the listening notes for the tracks I'll be previewing from the 'Songs For Ghosts' double album. Each track will be preceded with an explanatory preamble from myself.

Took my Musicvox Mi-6 guitar to Gordon White's workshop in Leeds a few days ago for him to adjust the neck and action, and to fit a gold Duesenberg 'Les Trem' to the guitar.

I ordered the trem from a company called Thomann in Germany and it arrived at Gordon's workshop this afternoon, so, I'm hoping that by the middle of next week I'll be able to collect the guitar and settle it in ready for the performance.

I've also taken my J.Joye 'Bel Air' guitar to Gordon as it has some problems which need fixing. One is a dodgy pickup selector switch and the other is a jack socket which keeps on getting loose and breaks the signal from the guitar. Hopefully, Gordon will remedy these problems.

I have TWO Astroluxe Cadet guitars now, one Bigsby-equipped, one 'Les Trem' equipped...I'll feature one of them in the live set. Also will be featuring my new 'Fire Bird' guitar.

A few previously 'never before played live' guitars are in the set...the 'Astroluxe Cadet,' obviously, and the 'Fire Bird, 'Twin Tone,' 'D'Angelico Style B' and Morris Custom 'Cosey' too.

A couple of others have only been seen out once before at last year's 'New Northern Dream' launch...these are the Backlund 'Model 100', the Blueburst D'Angelico EXL-1 archtop and my signature 'Astroluxe Custom.' (All of which are taking part in this year's guitar parade.)

Of course, I could manage with just two or three guitars quite easily, but that would be far less interesting from an audience point of view. 15 very diverse (and sometimes strange) guitars makes for a much more visually rich show. And, to be honest, I love to share these unusual instruments with an appreciative audience, rather than keep them all to myself in my home studio!

So, moving on into these last two weeks before the gig, I will soon need to begin to assemble the other equipment needed to make the show work, pack it up in its various boxes and flight cases, drag it all down stairs to fill up the dining room and hallway in preparation for guitar tech Andy Newlove to collect on the Wednesday before the event, and transport it to his 'studio in a shed' at his home near Hull and set everything up, ready for me to go over there and test it all out on the Thursday. Hopefully, we won't encounter some of the technical problems we experienced with the gear at last year's run though.

Then, on the Friday, it's a matter of me wrapping the artwork up, choosing what clothes to wear for the concert, (all is vanity, even at 69 years of age,) and packing everything I need, (diabetes test meter, insulin injections, etc, etc, ) into the car ready for Saturday's trip over to Leeds University and the afternoon sound and video check.

After all that, it will be a 'flying by the seat of my pants' affair as I haphazardly attempt to negotiate the various twists and turns of the 15 instrumentals I've set aside to perform.

And with a front row of guests, ranging from my not seen for many years best friend from Art School, (Ian Haigh,) my daughters and son and grandson, my nephew, plus my dear Mum, (who at 89 years old has decided to brave the difficulties of attending the concert, despite her physical infirmities and problems with mobility...) Well, with that plus the audience's expectations, and the fact that we have several American fans attending, who will have flown a long way, well, I think you could say that the pressure is not to be underestimated! Hopefully, I'll manage to get through it smiling! And, after all's said and done, that's what I live for and am...


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